The Passing of Rudolph Wise, former GWCDP Chair

Thank you to Executive Committeewoman, Catherine Swindell, for the research.

The Greenwood County Democratic Party has been in existence since just after World War 2. It has been home to many distinguished members and leaders in Greenwood and we stop for a moment to recognize the recent passing of Rudolph Wise, the first African-American Chair of the GWCDP.

Rudolph was elected Chair in 1988, the same year that Michael Dukakis won the Democratic Presidential nomination (losing to George Bush Sr that November). Rudolph was a teacher at Greenwood High School at the time and unseated 2-term Chair, Durell Bowie, in the County Convention in March 1988. He served as Chair through 1994.

photo attributed to the Index-Journal

On February 29, 2020, as South Carolina launched Joe Biden to the official Democratic Presidential nomination, Rudolph Wise passed into eternal rest at the age of 86. We’re grateful for the positive influence he had on the countless number of students whose lives he had touched over the decades. We also thank him for his service to the Greenwood County Democratic Party.

Rest in Peace, Chairman Wise.

Do you have personal memories of Rudolph Wise’s time with the Greenwood County Democratic Party? Let us know and be part of this digital remembrance at

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